Liverpool will be keen to provide their fans plenty of reasons to cheer about in their last home game of the season as they are set to welcome Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday. Though both the teams might not have much to play for in the league, this fixture has always been interesting as Liverpool and Chelsea are the two big EPL teams.
Jurgen Klopp and his men played some quality football against Chelsea in their last EPL encounter, defeating the Blues 3-1. Liverpool will be eager for a repeat performance, and to climb to the seventh position in the EPL, doing the double as well.
Liverpool are set to make some changes from their starting eleven, which featured against Watford in their last game. Liverpool rested some of their key players, including Dejan Lovren and Daniel Sturridge. Klopp is expected to field a strong team against Chelsea.
This game against Chelsea will prove to be a major landmark for Klopp as it is his 50th game as Liverpool manager. Klopp, who joined Liverpool in October, has also seen players like Adam Lallana, Lovren and Divock Origi flourish under him. Lucas Leiva was full of praise for the manager.
"We had a difficult start to the season but the change of manager changed everything. Jurgen is full of passion and everyone is trying to do exactly what he says," Liverpool Echo quoted Lucas as saying.
"I can see a lot of good things for Liverpool in the future. The future is very bright for this club and everyone is excited to be a part of it. I am no different. We're getting results and confidence is really high. I want to be a part of winning trophies for this club."
A win against Chelsea in front of their home crowd could be the perfect gift for Klopp's special (50th) game. But the Chelsea players will want to spoil Klopp's party.
Chelsea might have been better in the second half of the season, after a poor start, but are still in the ninth position, and also do not come into this game confident. They lost 3-2 against Sunderland in their last EPL game.
Last season's champions Chelsea have some incredible stars in their team like Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas but they have failed to steer Blues to their winnings ways. Their defense has looked shaky and weak, letting in 51 goals in the EPL so far, which is a huge concern for the side.
Liverpool's classy offensive players, like Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, could weave their magic through the Chelsea defenders, and help the home team emerge victorious. But to make it worse for Chelsea, the key defender, John Terry, will miss their last two games of the season as he received a red card in their last EPL game. Defender Branislav Ivanovic and striker Costa will also miss the game against Liverpool.
"Ivanovic is out with a groin injury, Costa has a hamstring [injury] and is out. Pedro is not out but he has not trained. He had a broken nose at home. He had a little accident. Costa is out probably for the weekend [against Leicester]," ESPN quoted the Chelsea manager, Guus Hiddink, as saying.
With such key players out of the game at Anfield, Chelsea need to come up with one of their best games against Liverpool, who are playing some wonderful football at home.
Watch EPL Live
Liverpool vs Chelsea is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. BST (12:30 a.m. IST, 2 p.m. EST). In India, viewers can catch the game on Star Sports 1and Star Sports HD 1. Online streaming will be available on Starsports.com and Hotstar.
In the U.K. Liverpool vs Chelsea EPL gamewill be shown in the UK on Sky Sport 2/HD,with live streaming option on Sky Go.
In the U.S., viewers can catch the Liverpool vs Chelsea game on the NBC Sports Network. Online streaming will be available on NBC Sports Live Extra. Radio commentary of the game will be available on Westwood One Sports.
Audience in the some Middle Eastern nations can watch the game live on TV on Bein Sports,with the live stream option on Bein Sports Connect.
The live scores for Liverpool vs Watford EPL game can be found on the Premier League match centre.